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Kaaren Mathias

Kaaren Mathias is a public health doctor/ activist and researcher based at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and also Advisor to Burans (, a community mental health initiative in Uttarakhand North India. She works in and around participation, gender, mental health, equity and health systems in communities.

Featured Articles

Communities and knowledge production

Benefit finding (looking for positive aspects while living through a difficult situation) is a skill we had probably practiced before, but COVID-19 pushed us all to identify good things coming out of a very difficult season for humans on planet earth. Benefit finding was a key concept as we implemented a resilience programme with young people ...

‘People with invisible disability look like me, look like any of us’

On December 3 we celebrate the International Day of People with Disabilities, and the theme for 2020 is ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’.  An invisible disability is a physical, mental or neurological condition that is not visible from the outside, that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities. The very fact that these symptom...

Let’s make space for young people at decision-making tables

On August 12 we celebrated International youth day and this year the United Nations theme is youth engagement for global action. The last 12 months have seen a whirlwind of youth participating as leaders for a better world, as change makers and as an added bonus, the group most resilient to COVID-19 infection. Young people are leading all of...

What else should we know by now?

Ten days ago, a friend rang to ask me whether it would be reasonable to start a cottage-industry sewing cotton facemasks. Thomas lives in Daliganj, Lucknow, a densely populated urban community where families live in single brick rooms. He thought facemasks could both protect people from coronavirus and generate income for families struggling in...

Mental health for all in North India – it’s not so simple

This morning I felt chirpy and on top of things. I fitted in a cycle-ride early morning, had a great conversation over chai mid-morning, and I could re-schedule events so I could collect my daughter staying late at soccer practice. I have skills to deal with stressful events and know where to get help if I am mentally distressed and largely beca...